All posts tagged: Lojong

How to Turn Each Moment Into Spiritual Practice

By Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo ~~~ The term lojung (Tib. mind training) has been made popular by the idea of using slogans to kindle mindfulness about our state of mind and behavior. However, according to the traditional Tibetan Buddhist teachings, lojung is a much broader topic than slogans that can be put to use in our daily life. Lojung is a term that encapsulates the entirety of the 84,000 teachings given by the Buddha Shakyamuni—since the point of the Buddhist teachings is to train, tame and master the mind. As was said by the great lojung master Shantideva, author of Way of a Bodhisattva, “There is no reason to make effort at taming anything other than taming the mind.” It seems pertinent to ask why the Buddha gave so many different teachings, rather than one set of teachings that could be followed by everyone. Buddhism doesn’t take a “one size fits all” approach. It is inherently flexible and adaptable. Its many permutations ensure that it can be applied by a variety of people who …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Auspicious Tick?

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a regular feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. This morning, on our way down the hill, past the lake, the wind blowing — ripples on the surface — on the dusty trail, a conversation about auspiciousness. Last night I arrived back at the cabin — my future official residence on the land — Oh… news yesterday… as I was walking to the bathroom, Molly pulled up and rolled down the window, Patrick (so famous now!) was in the passenger seat and she asked if it was alright for her to show Patrick the yurt — Avalokiteshvara — the most auspicious abode I’ve occupied — anyway, Ryan has been considering moving in.  During Sadhana of Mahamudra on Parinirvana day in the Stupa, he said his mind kept flashing on it.  So, yesterday I told him that someone else may be interested and at dinner he told me: …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Rather than to Get High

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a regular feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. I had to remove those droopy flowers from the shrine.  I don’t know who put them there.  Afterwards, while urinating, I noticed a couple of small rainbows projected onto the wall in front of me.  Thinking “there really are rainbows everywhere,” I glanced over my shoulder and noticed the wall beside me glowing purple — the sun and my sweater mixing, radiating. Previously: Trungpa was in a dream last night, I don’t remember the details.  But, I woke up thinking of Heather, and my mother, and the words — “You’re my peeps.  My closest peeps” — was looping. I’m feeling a bit more settled today, somehow.  The spiritual growth-spurt concept is simply transforming into more luminous regular old reality.  There will never be regular old reality.  And, I feel some caution about speaking openly about this sort of …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Having a Cow (Finally)

By Travis Newbill Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Ever since I first arrived here two years ago, I’ve been seeing cow pies… but never a cow. Where there is smoke there is fire. Where there is cow poop, there are cows. Not so! “I feel like my mind just did a somersault.  This turns everything around, on its head.” That’s what Mimi said last night when I was reading a piece of Trungpa’s dharma on the eighth consciousness, basic ground, abhidharma… Anyway, “having a cow” is a good description of my mental state recently. There’s been a fair amount of resentment and aggression.  People have always reported here that summer is a beast… So, a shift… I declared I’d be taking the Bodhisattva vow next month — picked up the lojong cards, brought tonglen into my practice.  The other day Director Gayner gave …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Don’t Do That

By Travis Newbill Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Growling in a cave, no one to hear, no one to blame, just the discomfort of… Or, alternatively, the bliss of no one to impress. But what if all this society stuff falls apart? What if no one shows up to ring the gong and lead chants? There have been times when I’ve been the only one in the shrine room for a session.  I ring the gong and chant solo.  It’s lonely, sad.  Something a bit pathetic about it.  DON’T WALLOW IN SELF PITTY And yet it feels tremendously powerful, brave, inspired.  That’s the flip.  DON’T TURN GODS INTO DEMONS If someone misses a dish washing shift here, it is plain to see that the dishes are dirty.  So, no one can get away with it.  If I don’t meditate, my mind is like …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Kill the Buddha

  Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Black honest and white too pure for stars to hold. The shakier the fringes the more it may be expanding. More space-venue for exploration. Dön Season Day Two: In the morning, Mr. Cushman helped me with the Vajrasattva mantra. It’s long and hard to pronounce. In the evening when Greg lead the chants, he whipped through the mantra so swiftly that I had no chance of reciting it along with him. After a few times through (we recite “Pacifying the Turmoil of the Mamos” 21 times during Dön Season)… After a few times through I gave up on trying and instead just opened up to Greg and connected with his recitation. He was positioned beautifully, an elder master, conducting the ceremony using sacred implements–bell and dorje, displaying mudras. Later in the evening… A disagreement with teacher in class regarding …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Stew in Space, and…How to Rule?

  Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Clapping muscles. Fangs into popsicle–shock like a bell, breastbone. Dirt in mid air–my dirt, your dirt, our dirt. Tears, mud. How else would we know this stuff but to care enough to tumble together? ~~~ President Reoch leading a fireside chat. Everything that happens here, happens in a big way. Little things happen in big ways. It can be like throwing a dart at a barn, or being bit by a pterodactyl (rather than a mosquito). Last weekend, President Reoch lead The Six Ways of Ruling. Amazing teacher, amazing teachings on leadership from the Shambhala tradition. To begin with–leading one’s life. My life is like a stew and I don’t feel like I’m holding the bowl or spoon. I may be the steam rising off the top, or a slice of potato. It’s a rich stew–dharma practice, romance, work, and a …

Floral Notes and Bardo: A Crazy Thing I Made

  Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Ghost-pepper sneeze of truth, came out a like a face-fart aspiring to be a sonnet. If you love me, you’ll understand. If you love me, you must be able to accomodate these types of things. If we’re going to really be friends, you must forgive farts of all sorts and be unafraid to cry if pepper dust from my stupid-sneeze hits you in the eye. I’m sorry. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you. A formula for friendship? ~~~ This is Avajra John posing with a crazy thing I made for him. The other night an impromptu gathering in Heather’s room–craft jam. I made a crazy thing for Avajra John, Heather made New Year’s cards for her Vietnameese friends, and Dorian worked on a figure drawing. I’ve been up past my bedtime so much recently. I’ve not been singing in …

Floral Notes and Bardo: Sunday Stuff, Nice

  Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. What is there to devour? My expectations? Soft snow falling out the window. It’s going to pile up. We’re going to make snow beasts. We talked about it yesterday and wished for the materials. Snow, snow, snow… Some stuff on a Sunday: Morning meditation, wrote a bit and then my dishwashing shift, contemplating lojong slogans while scrubbing pots and pans. Afterwards, kernels klanging against a metal pot, fun music–friendly cooks helped me make popcorn. I dusted it with nooch (nutritional yeast, yum). Plans to watch a movie later. Heather and I had lunch together, called our moms on the phone… During a lull in conversation with my mom, I heard her ask her mom: “Have you smelled anything interesting recently?” We did laundry and cleaned our rooms. Laundry was adventurous–I won’t say why. I will say that it was …

Floral Notes and Bardo: People Flower

Floral Notes and Bardo: The Creative Chronicles of a Shambhala Mountain Resident is a daily feature on the SMC blog in which a member of our staff/community shares his experience of existing as part of Shambhala Mountain Center. Passing pictures back and forth–how many times per second? Flickering dream, expressing itself as kisses. Under the bed, shadow monsters. The main thing is: so much care. So much care is required for people to flower. Acharya Lyon is leading a class on logong–about recognizing the dreamlike quality of our experience, and then engaging in a way that helps to alleviate the suffering of everyone who is mixed up in this thing. Meanwhile–I’m becoming delightfully, terrifyingly, willingly mixed up with a particular-fellow-person. I’m nursing a cold. I’m tasting high-grade sweetness. I’m saying things like this to myself: Joyous to have Such a human birth, Difficult to find, Free and well favored. But death is real, Comes without warning, This body will be a corpse. Unalterable Are the laws of karma; Cause and effect Cannot be escaped. Samsara Is an …